Skin Cancer’s A Bitch

So here’s where I am today — I?  Am Pissed.  Pissed at myself for frying in the sun for years like a piece of freaking bacon.  Pissed at myself for thinking it was ok to burn my face cause it would turn to tan the next day.  Pissed at myself for being a hypocrite and lathering up my kids with the strongest kind of sunscreen while forgetting to put it all over my own body.  And as a result?  I just found out that I have basal cell skin cancer.

Since it’s basal cell, it luckily won’t spread and can be cut out.  However, the location of this God-awful “C” word could not be in a more inconvenient place.  The damn thing is just above my left frickin’ eyebrow, making it next to impossible for them to avoid taking at least part of my brow when they go to remove it later this month.  Awesome, eh?  And wanna know what’s even worse about the timing of this whole flipping ordeal?  Guess whose 20 year high school reunion is this summer?  That’s right, people — mine.  It’ll be such a blast catching up with people with my one eyebrow.  I might as well just write “Unibrow” on my name tag.

It sucks that it takes something like cancer to scare you into being diligent about sunscreen application.  It’s a very difficult lesson to learn, but I urge each and every one of you to take your own health seriously.  It’s definitely NOT better to be a tan corpse.  Break out your Banana Boat everyone, cause the sun, it is a shinin’.

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43 Responses

  1. I agree! I hound the heck out of my boyfriend to put on sunblock. His Grandmother has had skin cancers removed 2 or 3 times and he still fights with me. Pisses me off. I’ve been burned but it’s usually because I miss a spot with the damn sunblock! Don’t use the spray kind in the wind!! LOL! Learn from my mistakes!!

    • Hopefully, you’ll get through to your boyfriend. It’s such an important lesson to learn.

  2. I read an article a few years and I have religiously slathered on SPF after SPF. My BF laughs but I put on SPF 30 and wear huge glasses and a hat. I’ve spent the last 27 years burning, so I need to make better decisions moving forward.

    • I hear ya loud & clear — I will be wearing a hat & huge sunglasses all summer long as well. SPF all the way too.

  3. My dad has had basal cell skin cancer. twice. He too, roasted in the sun as a surfer and a beach bum for years. Loved it. But now he’s very diligent about sunscreen, etc. I think it’s scared the crap out of him too.

    I’ll be keeping you in my prayers. Totally sucks they have to take part of your brow. Maybe u could shave the other one and start a new fad.. lol.

    ((HUGS))

    • Thanks so much for the well wishes & good vibes. It totally sucks that the place has to be on my face — so scared they’re gonna eff up my brow. Fingers crossed that I don’t turn into the town freak….

  4. Oh crap. I’m so sorry, woman. It could be way worse, and all things considered you’re pretty lucky, but still. It blows. 😦

    • Thanks for the positive thoughts. I am very grateful that we caught it & that it’s the treatable kind. I will be sure to ALWAYS lather myself in SPF from now on.

  5. Oh no! This sucks. So sorry for you. But at least it’s the good kind? I know that’s not the right way to phrase it, but hopefully you know what I mean. And, at least you can like blame cancer. I have a unibrow that I was born with and I can only blame genetics for it. I looked like effing Al B. Sure for the duration of high school. I didn’t get this cool until college when I finally discovered waxing. Good luck with your surgery.

    • Thank you — yes, I am so grateful it’s the treatable kind. Apparently, it’s the most common kind of skin cancer. I know I’m gonna be paranoid that it’ll return or that other spots will pop up. It’s totally changed my whole perception about the sun. Sunscreen will be mandatory from now on.

  6. Skin cancer is some crazy shit. I had some pre-cancerous cells removed from my leg when I was 25! I just wish I had known at 16 what I know now.

    • I hear ya — wish I would’ve listened to my mom when she bitched at me all those years I was out frying my skin. Hindsight….

  7. How horrible! Your strength is evident in your humour. I’m sending you warm (but not so warm there’s UV) thoughts.

    • Thank you — I’ve gotta keep laughing or else I’ll totally freak out. I appreciate the warm thoughts — they really do help! 🙂

  8. Ugh, I am so sorry… I have a lot of basal cell skin cancer in my family and growing up in SoCal, I fried myself to a crisp over and over so I get checked often, which it sounds like you do, too. I’m glad you caught it early. And sorry about the brow sitch… Eyebrow pencil?

    • Yes, getting regular checks is sooooo important. So many of my friends & family don’t do it & I hope that this ordeal will encourage them to change that. And yes, I’ll definitely be looking into a good eyebrow pencil to hide any potential scarring/lack of hair.

  9. The best of vibes being sent your way. So friggin’ sorry. At least there’s no fear of a unibrow now, right?

  10. Okay WOW. That had to be one hell of a thing to hear!! I hope all goes well for you…

    M

    • Thank you. Yes, it sucks hearing the “c” word after watching my dad go through 4 months of treatment in the fall. Fingers crossed this is the last time I have to hear that word again….

  11. I’m so sorry. Perhaps an eyebrow pencil will help? Shoot – who cares really. They caught it – they are getting rid of it and you have the rest of your life to live and not worry about a stupid eyebrow. They’re over-rated anyway. What purpose do they really serve? I mean, sheesh. Right? xoxo

    • Thanks, & yes, I’ll totally be looking into an eyebrow pencil to camouflage any scarring & perhaps even eyebrow tattooing, which someone recommended. And you’re right — I’ve never really thought about it before, but just what the hell IS the purpose of an eyebrow anyway??!!

  12. Well I found out last year I had skin cancer too…I had a couple like what you have and a couple not so great Melanoma ones!

    It’s a bitch and I too hate myself for always burning in the sun and for those stupid tanning beds I was always in!

    But I have had them all cut out and am doing ok. I have to go back ever three months for a body scan and they always seem to find something to cut off me but I have my health and know I am more careful than ever with me and my kids!

    it will all be fine I promise….just go get that damn thing cut off!!!!

    • I’m glad to hear that you’re doing ok — it’s very scary though, isn’t it? I just want to get it over with & have it out/off of my body.

  13. I feel your pain. It’s been 1 year since I was told I had Melanoma on my back. Thankfully it was classified as a “Thin Melanoma” and therefore I didn’t have to go through radiation, nor did it spread, so we caught it early. BUT. It scared the bejeezes out of me and now my family calls me the sunscreen nazi. I buy the highest SPF I can find and lather not only myself, but my kids & hubby up, too. I also found a great site for SPF clothing, too. http://www.sungrubbies.com. Just bought my boys shirts a couple of days ago. 🙂

    Good luck w/ your surgery and I hope they can minimize any scarring around your eyebrow.

    • Thank you! I can understand why you’ve become the sunscreen nazi — it totally changes your whole perception about being tan, doesn’t it?

  14. Good luck – and who cares what those freaks, I mean, lovely people – you went to high school think?

    Even with one brow you are a hot mama.

    • Aww, you are so sweet! Thanks for the nice comment & for the well wishes! I really appreciate it! 🙂

  15. That’s stressfull. Hopefully all will go well and your eyebrow won’t get massacred in the process and the cancer won’t pop up again 🙂 I’ll keep you (and your eyebrow) in my thoughts and prayers!

  16. Man, that SUCKS! I hope whatever they cut out isn’t too major and you can maybe have a plastic surgeon fix it up if needed.

    I’m one of those who fried in her early years and now I’m trying to keep the sunscreen on!

    • The surgeon that I’m going to specializes in the facial area, so I’m praying that he doesn’t botch me all up. This totally sucks. 😦

  17. Here in Australia, skin cancer is all too common. Most of us wear SPF 30 all the time during summer. We have a “Slip, slop, slap” mentality due to years of advertising to remind us to slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat. (Singin’ the song in my head as I type!)

    Thanks GOD it can be removed. I wish you well.

    As for the school reunion? Go. Tell people about your experience, and you might save some lives in the process, just as you’re doing now. Good for you. x

  18. One eyebrow or two, you’ll still be beautiful. Glad it’s not more serious than it is!

  19. Good luck. I hope all goes well. I’m 43 and can’t believe that I used to bake in the sun with baby oil and lay on tin foil all day long. If we only knew back then…

  20. Well the Big C is never easy to hear. Sorry – but – big but here – you got it checked and hopefully you’ll be all set. Seriously, I’d take that unibrow over the other (worse) options. And I’m not sure if you saw my sunburn the other day – my entire upper body…I had some block on, and didn’t reapply. I’m kickin myself. I’m the same – reapply my kids obsessively.

  21. I can so relate to how something like this puts things into perspective. A few weeks ago I had to have a colposcopy due to an irregular pap test (whatever that means!). I have to wait an entire month for the results.

    Keep your sense of humour up and keep looking on the bright side.

    M.

    • Best of luck. This is my ‘c’ scare – I’ve had a few colposcopy tests. I hope your news is good, and if it is a ‘wait and see’ like mine, hang in there. I have to go in another month for my check-up and am worried, but there’s nothing I can do but hope for the best.

  22. I hope the surgery goes well. I have not yet had my skin checked (Who does it and how much does it cost?). Oddly enough, I was looking at my face on the way to work today, and thinking about my few little sun spots. I grew up without sunscreen and have had my fair share of burns! I don’t fake tan anymore (and never did as hardcore as a lot of young women do these days), don’t lay out, but I still don’t use sunscreen. I gotta work on that… It’s sad how hard it was to accept being pale, because everyone is so insistent on ‘needing’ a tan.

    On a side note, I have my own blemishes – we all do. Things that are permanently screwed up because of our decisions in life – scars of some sort. You will look beautiful regardless. Don’t forget that! If nothing else, and you catch someone staring, teach them a lesson about sunscreen – maybe you could help someone.

  23. The SAME thing happened to me about 6 months after my 1st child was born. I literally BAKED myself all through my teens and 20’s. By 30-ish, I wised up and piled on sunscreen and never went “tanning”. Too little, too late is what my derm said when he called me…yes, I said HE called me himself. Gulp. And said that I had to have surgery. Double Gulp. I did and I am fine now. I wear shirts over my swimsuit, pile on the sunscreen and wear a hat as big as the sun itself.
    Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way. . .I say grow some bangs and never give it another thought!!! Hang in there!

  24. Oh I will be keeping you in my heart. I will also be kicking my a burn is okay I will be tan tomorrow self in the ass and making sure I wear sunscreen! (Also going to feature this in the Health section of my Sunday Post!)

    • Thank you so much for including my skin cancer post in your health section of your awesomely good Sunday Post. It’s an unfortunate lesson to have to learn, but it’s so important for people to be reminded about the nasty dangers of sun exposure.

  25. So you’re saying that being glow-in-the-day white is a good job on my part? 🙂

    We’re an SPF 50 kind of family. Haven’t been checked for awhile though…guess I’ll add it to my list.

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